Purpose = 68% Compelling
“I am blue in the face communicating our mission and strategy” said the CEO in a frustrated tone. “Surely everybody knows it by now!?!” he added with a look of disbelief.
The data had just revealed otherwise – the score for “clear and compelling purpose” was a disappointing 68%. But that was only part of the story.
The data revealed misalignment of up to 23%, with implications not just for strategy, but also resources, culture and structure.
A data view showing how misalignment of 28% was progressively narrowed over a 4 month period:
Where to Align?
There were opportunities/challenges around alignment as follows:
1. Vertical Alignment – Measured as the difference between alignment at the C-suite and alignment at the front lines.
2. Horizontal Alignment – Measured by the effectiveness of collaboration across functions (Return on Collaboration).
3. Personal Alignment – Measured by the extent to which people felt that they get to further their personal/professional goals via their work.
Horizontal and vertical alignment improved by up to 19% over a period of 16 weeks.
Some progress was made in connecting the corporate mission with personal/professional goals, but ongoing work would be required.
What is it linked to?
A complex picture emerged in respect of alignment – clearly it is not just an issue of strategy.
Issues of structure and culture were putting pressure on alignment too. Some quick wins emerged, with up to 35% potential in respect of alignment of roles.
A deficit in terms of Engagement was revealed, with too little consultation or even communication.
Indeed, the data hinted that it might not be “safe” to discuss issues of alignment – people often chose to stay quiet when issues of strategy or direction arose.
What was the core challenge?
The data revealed opportunities and challenges in respect of focus (62%), with a widespread view that the organization lacked a “laser-like focus” and “fluttered from priority to priority”.
While the CEO often lamented a lack of urgency, the data told a different story. There was actually too much urgency and it impacted on the ability to do quality work (67%) and the discipline to see things through (65%).
With many projects and priorities competing for time and resources, the data pointed to a failure to make trade-offs. Re-directing resources towards today’s priorities and away from past decisions also emerged as an issue.
Before and after tracking showed that these important areas improved by up to 20% over the 16 week cycle.